Sufi Perspective of the Contemplative Life

One of the things I am most pleased about this Spring/Summer at Northaven is the Contemplative Life Series. It’s been a wonderful success, and we are deeply grateful to the many wise spiritual teachers who are coming to present their views at Northaven.

We are deeply honored to be hosting Dr. Kavaki, considered widely to be the spiritual leader of DFW’s Muslim community. The details are below….EF

The Contemplative Life:
Many Faiths—Shared Wisdom
2nd Monday Series – July 13 Session
no charge, registration requested but not required

The objective of The Contemplative Life series is to provide an overview of the distilled wisdom of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and other major religions that converge in contemplative practice. The presentations are intellectually sophisticated (but not academic), experiential, and practical. We do not seek to blur the distinctions between religious faiths; rather, we want to engage together with mutual respect to understand our common core.

Attendance has been excellent and the response very positive to the previous presentations of Ruben Habito on the Buddhist perspective and Pravrajika Brahmaprana on the Vedanta Hindu perspective. The July 13 session will further enrich our understanding of the contemplative tradition across major religions. The culmination of this series will be a retreat at Northaven led by James Finley October 16-18, with the topic: “Jesus and Buddha – How the teachings of Jesus reflect the Four Noble Truths.”

Monday, July 13, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Northaven UMC, 11211 Preston Road, Dallas, Sanctuary
Dr. Yusuf Ziya Kavakci,
Sufi Perspective of the Contemplative Life

We hope you will RSVP for this event by clicking here.

Dr. Yusuf Ziya Kavakci is the resident Islamic Scholar and Spiritual Leader of the Muslim community affiliated with the Islamic Association of North Texas. Born in Turkey, by the time he was 8 or 9 years of age he had memorized the entire Qur’an. Dr. Kavakci has served in Turkey as Muadhdhin (professional caller to prayer), Imam (mosque leader), and Waiz (preacher). Dr. Kavakci was a full professor in Islamic Law at Ataturk University, chaired a number of departments, and served as Dean of the College. He has published numerous books in both Turkish and English.

Future Presentations

August 10 – Geoffrey Dennis, Rabbi, Congregation Kol Ami, “Jewish Kabbalah perspective”
September 14 – Ginger Georgulas, retired Lutheran pastor and spiritual director— “Female Mystics perspective”
October 1 (Thursday) – Father Don Fischer, St. Joseph Catholic Church—Christian esoteric tradition of Centering Prayer

For more information about the 2nd Monday Series or to register, click here. You may also call Northaven at 214-363-2479.


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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of The Woods United Methodist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. For seventeen years, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas, Texas. Eric is an avid blogger and published author. Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy.

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